Just a few days ago the government was making ëradicalí and ëambitiousí plans for the housing market with the aim of providing affordable housing by kick starting a building boom.
Now, the chancellor has blown any chance of good news for potential homeowners by deciding not to extend the stamp duty holiday beyond March.
Chancellor George Osborne made his Autumn Statement yesterday, outlining a wave of points over the economy and the governmentís futures plans. However, he did not lengthen the holiday period for which first time buyers are exempt from paying stamp duty.
The exemption from stamp duty for first time buyers will end at midnight on 24th March 2012. The chancellor has now been accused of failing to tackle the issue of affordable housing for first time buyers.
Former president of the National Association of Estate Agents, Trevor Kent, commented on the news, ìThis saving of up to £2500 of cash which first time buyers will now have to pay to the government for the privilege of buying a roof over their heads will make the difference between buying and staying put for many.
ìIt is hard enough for them to have saved enough for the inflated deposits that lenders now demand, often up to 25% of the purchase price. What a kick in the teeth for them to discover that if they canít make their purchase before late March, George Osborne will demand his pound of flesh tooî.
This blow to potential buyers may set back any previous plans to shake up the housing market.
However, the Housing Strategy is still on the table and the government is aiming to provide a mortgage indemnity scheme, which will help up to 100,000 people buy homes with just a 5% deposit.
The 95% LTV for first time buyers on new builds is good news for the thousands of Brits who are desperate to make a move on to the property ladder.
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